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AI ensures the future of rare breed Highland

Genus Equine, working with Stallion AI Services, has recently joined forces with the Rare Breeds Survival trust (RBST) to establish a sperm bank to ensure the future survival of Britain’s most threatened native breeds of horse and pony. The latest addition to the bank is from one of HM the Queen’s stunning Highland pony stallions.

The Highland is one of several Scottish breeds classified as vulnerable by the RBST. Their future has been made more secure thanks to a recent trip by three stallions from Scotland to Genus Equine’s collection centre Stallion AI Services in Shropshire to participate in the RBST’s Regeneration Appeal Programme. HM the Queen’s Balmoral Moss, who starred in the spectacular ‘All The Queen’s Horses’ Jubilee celebrations last year, together with Fyfedene from Stirling and Carlung Ebony from Ayrshire made the lengthy journey to provide more than 200 semen doses.

Genus Equine have already collected semen from four other of the eleven breeds listed with the RBST: the Cleveland Bay and Eriskay who are on the critical list and the Dales and Irish Draught who are classified as vulnerable.

During the next few years the project will involve evaluations and freezing from other native stallions to establish a sperm bank of British native breeds including the Clydesdale, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Fell, Shire and Suffolk Punch. Stored in liquid nitrogen the semen will stay viable almost indefinitely and will provide valuable gene pools for future use.

For further information on semen collection contact Genus Equine, telephone 0870 872 7799, for equine AI contact Tullis Matson, Stallion AI Services, telephone 01948 666295, mobile 07801 592111 or visit the website at . To find out more about the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and to make a donation contact Susie Cradock, telephone 02476 696551.


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